In "Entré en philo", Jean-Paul Jouary says...

"Il n'existe pas de société humaine sans diverses formes de création artistique, et il n'existe pas d'individu humain qui n'ait de goûts esthétiques - quels qu'ils soient - qui ne ressentent un plaisir particulier au contact de certaines œuvres."

I'm wondering why it is okay to drop the "pas" after the two bolded verbs in this sentence? Thanks in advance!

  • Please clarify if you are talking about removing the first pas or about the "missing" second one.
    – jlliagre
    Mar 20, 2022 at 12:35
  • Are you sure that qui ne ressentent is plural? Because if it is describing l'individu humain it should be singular.
    – Lambie
    Mar 20, 2022 at 18:08
  • @Lambie Good catch. The actual sentence is longer: Il n'existe pas de société humaine [...] et il n'existe pas d'individu humain [...] qui ne ressentent un plaisir particulier [...]
    – jlliagre
    Mar 20, 2022 at 22:38
  • Thanks for the clarifications. I've updated the question to make it more clear which verbs I'm referring to, and have also updated the quote so that it now represents the entire sentence from the text. Mar 22, 2022 at 2:20
  • "Il n'est" without "pas": ne littéraire? does address the phenomenon where "pas" is dropped, but does not clarify why this occurs in this sentence. Mar 22, 2022 at 2:24

1 Answer 1


"Il n'existe pas d'individu [...]" and "Il n'existe d'individu [...]" , ARE BOTH CORRECT, because the negation is already present in the " n' " from the word "existe". This two sentences have the same meaning so, yes, it is okay to drop the "pas" (to respond to the question).

However, using a phrase without the "pas" as a negation is less common, especially when spoken.

  • 2
    The first pas is not dropped, the question is about the second negation n'ait de goûts (...). So you are not really answering the question.
    – XouDo
    Mar 20, 2022 at 11:46
  • I don't know, it depends on how you interpret the question.
    – Floxify
    Mar 20, 2022 at 11:50
  • Technically correct, maybe, but okay, not really. Your "less common" is an understatement. Nobody would say or write that particular sentence without the pas and if a student does it in an assignment, I'm sure it will be considered a mistake.
    – jlliagre
    Mar 20, 2022 at 22:44
  • @XouDo is correct, I was not referring to this verb. I've updated the question so that it is more clear. Mar 22, 2022 at 2:21

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